Industry braced for Ofcom proposals on junk-food advertising

Plans to restrict junk-food ads aimed at children will be unveiled by Ofcom, the communications watchdog, next week.

The proposals have fuelled concerns in the ad industry that it may be bounced into a total ban on broadcast ads for some products. And industry leaders fear there will not be enough time to prove the new code is working before the Government makes its crucial decision on a ban.

On Tuesday, Ofcom will produce a range of options for restricting the content, volume and scheduling of food ads. It is likely to produce its final decision in the autumn, with the new code likely to take effect early next year.

The Advertising Association is worried that will give advertisers little time to prepare and ministers little chance to assess the new system.

Jeremy Preston, the head of the AA's Food Advertising Unit, said: "The process has been telescoped. If the Government reviews things in early 2007, what does it expect to have happened by then?"

Comment, page 52.

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